MILF-MNLF clash hampers flow of transportation in NorthCot

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 22 July) – A running gunbattle between feuding armed groups from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front had forced government authorities in Kidapawan City to temporarily close the national highway for almost an hour on Sunday afternoon.

The rival Moro rebels clashed in barangay Patadon in Kidapawan City, forcing dozens of families to temporarily leave their homes, the military said.

Capt. Antonio Bulao, spokesperson of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, said that about 5 a.m., the 57th Infantry Battalion learned about the massing of 100 MILF forces near Barangay Patadon where MNLF members and their families were about to harvest corn and other crops.

Patadon, in the boundary of Matalam and Kabacan town, is mostly dominated by MNLF members.

Firefight ensued at 8 a.m. as MILF members attacked the villagers in Patadon, the military said, but no one was reported hurt.

Bulao said that before the raid, MNLF members living in the village learned of the planned attack by MILF forces.

“So the MNLF sent its armed followers to Patadon, strengthening their defense against intruding troops,” Bulao said.

After few minuets of fierce battle, the MILF forces decided to withdraw. This also came after former congressman Jimmy Matalam appealed to Commander Noah Sabel of the MILF’s 108th base command.

But at 4 p.m., the MILF men came back with more troops, which triggered another gun battle. The firefight reached near the national highway, prompting government forces to temporarily close the road.

North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza lamented that the conflict has affected the province’s economy, noting that despite efforts to settle differences, the feud has not been resolved.

“They are fighting over a government-owned land which it is still a government property. I hope proper agencies will come to address the issue,” Mendoza said.

Senior Supt. Danilo Peralta, provincial police director of North Cotabato, said the fighting between the MILF and MNLF armed men in the area is not political in nature but more driven on land conflict.

“It is not an organizational conflict but more of a land dispute involving Moro families who have ties with the revolutionary movement,” he said.

The confrontation between the two groups was still part of the conflict involving the same groups in nearby Matalam town, also in North Cotabato.

Earlier this year, MILF and MNLF forces clashed in Barangay Marbel in Matalam when MNLF members accused MILF forces of bringing their guns in an MNLF-recognized community as they conducted advocacy work on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2013/07/22/milf-mnlf-clash-hampers-flow-of-transportation-in-northcot/

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  • Ayjayar

    Heto ang maging scenario kapag pinirmahan na ang “peace deal” between sa gobyerno at MILF – porke’t di kasali ang MNLF (na pumirma na ng peace agreement in 1996 sa panahon ni Presidente Fidel Ramos, at pinagtibay pa ng 57-member countries ng Organization of Islamic Countries, o OIC), siyempre duda ang MNLF(nauna sila, diba? Si FVR presidente din ng Pilipinas, diba? Eh, paano itong separate peace-deal with the MILF? Ang gulo, diba?!).
    Si Nur MIsuari, ang lider ng MNLF, ay nag-surrender na nga kay Pres Ramos noon upang matangi lamang ang kapayapaan sa Mindanao after more than 22 yrs of fighting… tapos si PNoy naman nakipag-usap sa breakaway group ni Hashim Salamat na deputy noon ni Misuari at nagtayo ng MILF.
    Eh, papano kung meron na namang tatayo ng another breakaway group ni hind masiyahan sa peace deal ni Pnoy at MILF? Di, tuloy pa rin ang away?
    We never learn…. .